In this special closing event for Turn It On: China on Film, 2000–2017, join cocurators of Art and China After 1989Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, as they reflect upon their curatorial experiences and address broader themes in the exhibition and film series that touch upon China from 2007 to the present. The discussion will be moderated by Andrew Solomon, award-winning author and president of PEN America, copresenter of Turn It On. A screening of Ai Weiwei’s Fairytale (2007) immediately follows.
$20, $15 members, $10 students. Refreshments will be available for purchase in The Wrightfrom 5:15–6:30 pm.
Directed by Ai Weiwei艾未未
Mandarin with English subtitles, 153 min.
In 2007 Ai Weiwei took part in Documenta 12 with a participatory event called Fairytale, after the Brothers Grimm who were born in Kassel, the German city that hosts the famed art exhibition. Ai invited 1,001 people from China, many of whom had never been abroad before, to travel to Germany, live in a dormitory of Ai’s design, and freely wander the city and the exhibition. Ai’s studio recruited the applicants from the Internet. He also sent 1,001 Ming period–style wooden chairs, which were arranged throughout the exhibition hall as gathering spaces. Fairytale opens with the project’s inception and takes us through its full enactment, recording the experiences of participants of all backgrounds to create a series of portraits woven together by a single event.
Organized by the Guggenheim Museum in conjunction with Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World. Presented in collaboration with PEN America. Support is provided by The Hayden Family Foundation. A program of the Sackler Center for Arts Education.
Originally published in The Economist | NEW YORK
A new exhibition focuses on art that was made in or inspired by China between 1989 and 2008
HANGING from the ceiling of the magnificent rotunda that Frank Lloyd Wright created for the Guggenheim Museum in 1959 is an undulating black dragon. Twenty-six metres (85 feet) long, it is made almost entirely of the inner tubes of bicycles. Its head is a sculptural confection of broken cycles, its rear a writhing excrescence of black rubber loops. The visual etymology is obviously and satisfyingly Chinese. Then you notice hundreds of tiny black cars crawling all over its underbelly, like head lice on a schoolchild—symbolic of the moment when the country, in the headlong pursuit of economic growth, swerved from pedal power to petroleum.
If, for the past couple of weeks, you’ve been following either the art world’s murmurings or the Most Popular Petition category on change.org, you would be well aware of the Guggenheim’s recent Animal Rights-related quagmire, a tiff with PETA advocates which resulted, on Sept. 25, in the removal of three pieces from its fall blockbuster exhibition.
Whether or not you’ve been keeping close tabs on both, you likely missed the fact that the show in question, Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World, opened to the public this past Friday, Oct. 6.
“Precipitous Parturition,” by Chen Zhen, hangs high over the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda. The dragon’s body is woven from cast-off bicycle wheel inner tubes; toy cars are packed within its belly. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times